Residents still displaced after train derailment fire
Air 3 over the scene of the train derailment fire.
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Several residents are still displaced after a train derailment caught fire. 13 of Paducah and Louisville Railway's cars derailed Monday, followed by Wednesday's explosion.
P&L Railway spokesperson Bonnie Hackbarth said, "We have not had a major incident with a chemical leak like this – a substantial leak – for over 20 years." But this one will be talked about for quite some time.
The fire was expected to burn out in about an hour, but more than 24-hours later Hackbarth is still not sure how that time was dramatically wrong, "The information in terms of how much of the chemical was still in the tanker at the time was the best information that we had at that time."
Thursday, emergency management crews cars were everywhere in the once quiet neighborhoods, and P&L Railway is paying for that – literally.
Anyone in the shelter-in-place or evacuation zones get food, hotel expenses, even missed days of work paid for.
Hackbarth explained, "They can come here with appropriate documentation and walk out with a check."
Those who were evacuated get an extra $100 for each adult and $50 for each child.
That includes people like Peggy Craig, "It's so gracious if because if you don't have it and you're so used to being home then we have nothing and that's exactly what happened to us we had nothing you know and to be and to be told within five to ten minutes to be out of your home is terrible."
While the shelter-in-place was lifted for residents within a five mile radius, those within a 1.2 mile radius are still under an evacuation order. On Thursday there was talk the evacuation situation could stretch into the weekend.
Diane Bagby with the EMA explained, "We recognize that it is a huge inconvenience for them to be out and they've been very patient but safety comes first so I can't give a time frame."
In addition to monitoring the fire that's burning, other crews worked to empty the car containing styrene. The goal was to have it emptied by Thursday night.
Crews said the cars containing the hydrogen fluoride are the most dangerous, but added they are not leaking. The two cars containing that chemical are at the bottom of the heap and will likely be the last to be emptied.
The Environmental Protection Agency is continuing to monitor the water in the area, with the Salt River not far from the site of the derailment. A spokesperson with the EPA said there was no contamination from the leak in the Ohio River.
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